Cleric's Responses to Mystical Metaphysics (or How to Make a Logical Argument)

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Re: Cleric's Responses to Mystical Metaphysics (or How to Make a Logical Argument)

Post by Soul_of_Shu »

Eugene I wrote: Fri Sep 24, 2021 8:17 pm Looks to me like two different persons but their activity is definitely coordinated here. There are so many philosophies, theories of everything, spiritual teachings and spiritual gurus these days in high competition with each other and it is hard for them to reach to people and attract them to their teachings. Creating own platform in a vast ocean of internet, like Scott of Steve did, will hardly attract many people. So the clever ones become proactive and invade other already existing forums and platforms and start preaching their teachings there to already existing audience.

And of course someone else just did it here
Really? I doubt the audience here of 250 members is going to make much difference to anyone's exposure, given most of whom sign up because BK links to the forum from his blog, once they find out that there's not actually much discussion about BK's work, and he's not even involved, probably don't hang around long. Many profiles are now listed as inactive. So it's not likely more than a small percentage of members are paying attention, even allowing for some lurkers. The real appeal is more likely that truly keen folks who are interested in the kind of esoteric topics found here, and actually have some well informed grasp of ontology, are few and far between, and we just crave intelligent conversation with like-minded people, however contentious it may get at times. So IMO the cynicism is not really warranted.
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Re: Cleric's Responses to Mystical Metaphysics (or How to Make a Logical Argument)

Post by Eugene I »

Soul_of_Shu wrote: Fri Sep 24, 2021 10:25 pm and we just crave intelligent conversation with like-minded people
:mrgreen:
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Re: Cleric's Responses to Mystical Metaphysics (or How to Make a Logical Argument)

Post by Steve Petermann »

Eugene I wrote: Fri Sep 24, 2021 8:17 pm Creating own platform in a vast ocean of internet, like Scott of Steve did, will hardly attract many people.
So true. I've had a website up since 2003 with the theology in various stages of development. Over the years there has been some interest but nothing significant.
Soul_of_Shu wrote: Fri Sep 24, 2021 10:25 pm The real appeal is more likely that truly keen folks who are interested in the kind of esoteric topics found here, and actually have some well informed grasp of ontology, are few and far between, and we just crave intelligent conversation with like-minded people, however contentious it may get at times.
Here's the way I look at it. For those who think they may have something helpful to say for humanity and the world, then as "nobodies", it might be disconcerting that there doesn't seem to be much interest. As Eugene says, there is a vast ocean of content out there. With that being the case and if one is not famous, making a noticeable splash in that ocean is unreasonable. But perhaps making a noticeable splash isn't the only way to make a difference but it won't result in feeding one's ego.

Jung talks about the collective unconscious and synchronicity. Rupert Sheldrake talks about morphic resonance. He talks about this in how difficult-to-form crystals form themselves more easily once it is first accomplished. He also talks about how when rats on one side of the world solve a problem, the rats on the other side know how to solve it as well. In my theology, there is a Divine Life (God-as-living). With God-as-living, there is a Mind-as-living. The Mind-as-living is the communion of all minds from the smallest to the largest. There is an entanglement of minds (perhaps represented like in quantum physics). What this means is that even if there is no direct communication between minds, they can still affect each other. It may be subtle and ambiguous but with time and reinforcement, it can become significant.

Discussions like these or an individual's unnoticed ideas may just seem local, but they are not. They contribute to the communal Mind
and influence what is possible for the holistic future going forward.
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Re: Cleric's Responses to Mystical Metaphysics (or How to Make a Logical Argument)

Post by ParadoxZone »

Hi Steve,

Thanks for your input. I want to be as clear as I can be in understanding your post above.

I'm familiar with Jung's and Sheldrake's ideas so there's no problem there. The paragraph ending "but it won't result in feeding one's ego" isn't that clear to me. I think you are saying that both Cleric and Ashvin are contributing in a way that they, quite consciously, know won't feed their own egos, because they're aware of the danger therein. Am I getting this right?

Also, I'm not sure what the "smallest" and "largest" minds refer to. If you need to tell me to read up on your theology, fair enough.

As for reinforcement, sure, it seems there has been some of that, certainly from my perspective. That's not a bad thing though - aren't we all constantly looking for evidence along the way, with some reinforcement necessary at times? If the reinforcement was the only evidence, then yes that would be a problem.

I'm getting the sense from your above post that you see the engagement to date to be very positive. I say "to date", as I am also sensing that it has calmed down, seeing the conspiracy talk as a natural, almost inevitable ending of something. Shu will be happy with that perspective, I suspect.
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Re: Cleric's Responses to Mystical Metaphysics (or How to Make a Logical Argument)

Post by AshvinP »

Eugene I wrote: Fri Sep 24, 2021 8:53 pm Right :)
Hopefully, if they see that people are not subscribing to their preaching, they will eventually leave to other places.

It's simple. Everyone agrees we are in a deep "meaning crisis" in Western civilization, including BK. So, naturally, metaphysical idea-lism, if one has any desire to get down into the philosophical roots of Western culture, is probably a good bet for finding some meaning-full answers. If they happen upon BK and then this forum, that is what most people are expecting to find, but they have no idea what form to expect it in. As Dana pointed out, many of the people will just tune out after a little awhile if what they wanted and expected to find is not what they actually find (aside: this actually happened to me the first time I read PoF... what I was expecting to read was not at all what Steiner was engaged in, so I just stopped reading, and it tooks Cleric's eminently logical and imaginative postings to prompt me towards another look). We know this happens in real life all the time and is mostly a reflection of our short attentive spans and our desire not to get "deep truth" without equally deep commitment and effort.

So the rest of who stick around for awhile are of two sorts. First, what I presume is the minority - Cleric, Scott, PZ, Dana, Anthony, Shajan, myself, and maybe a few others (sorry if I left you out, I am just making a broad point here). We feel forums such as these can be a great place for serious and deep dialogues about the "meaning crisis", i.e. where it comes from, how it manifests, where it is going, what we can do about it as individuals without our own spheres of action, etc. Then, there is what appears to be the majority - Eugene, Ben... (that's enough for now, again I am making a broad point). These people look upon the forum as they look upon a cow... it is a place to express endlessly speculative opinions, garner attention for one's speculative opinions, get some personal ego-boost from that, and nothing else. These people, despite frequently saying they want "freedom", actually abhor the idea that this forum is a free marketplace for ideas and people will naturally gravitate to those ideas which are actually expressed logically, imaginatively (in the case of Cleric), and seem to be highly relevant to the meaning crisis.

Such people, instead of ignoring the approach they claim to have no interest in, and writing their own essays, posts, and generally trying to spark up enthusiasm for their approach, jump in on the threads of the other approach whenever they seem to be picking up steam, because, after all, it is all about feeling that other people are reading what you are writing and has little to do with what is "true" or actually relevant to the meaning crisis. That is why you (Eugene) assume we must think like you - "if they see that people are not subscribing to their preaching, they will eventually leave to other places." You assume it must be all about our ego's need for attention like it is for your own. After all, what else could it be about in this flattened 2-dimensional speculative thought-world? You cannot even imagine another possibility, such as the one expressed by PZ in her comment (thanks PZ, as it was again heartening to read and also saves me some typing here). That is the possibility that what we desire, feel, think, and do actually matters in the overall Cosmic story of our lives, and that the living depth we rediscover in our own Thinking is more than enough to satisfy our soul for many lifetimes over, even if another single soul never reads what we write.

PZ wrote:Just one brief, undramatic example. Last night I settled in to watch the show "Billions", having given up on it a long time ago. I surprised myself by laughing all the through it. So what was going on? I was watching it through a completely different lens. As soul-caricatures constantly organising and re-organising against the newly discovered "real" baddie. The dramatic parts were hilarious. The attempts at tender parts were even more hilarious. I was mentally telling the know it all-HR-psychologist woman to "get some depth, lady!"

None of the above paragraph is a sign of disengagement. Quite the reverse.

Also, I have resolved to visit one of the churches in the city centre, next time I visit. Not to hear anyone talk. But to, in my own time, to contemplatively do a tour of the Stations of the Cross. Accompanied by my own thoughts and feelings, with nobody in my ear saying "look what you did to Jesus".
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Re: Cleric's Responses to Mystical Metaphysics (or How to Make a Logical Argument)

Post by Steve Petermann »

ParadoxZone wrote: Sat Sep 25, 2021 1:11 am I'm familiar with Jung's and Sheldrake's ideas so there's no problem there. The paragraph ending "but it won't result in feeding one's ego" isn't that clear to me. I think you are saying that both Cleric and Ashvin are contributing in a way that they, quite consciously, know won't feed their own egos, because they're aware of the danger therein. Am I getting this right?
I was just stating generally that ideas or systems that don't "make a splash" culturally won't be feeding their author's egos. I wouldn't presume to know what Cleric's or Ashvin's motives or goals are.
ParadoxZone wrote: Sat Sep 25, 2021 1:11 am Also, I'm not sure what the "smallest" and "largest" minds refer to. If you need to tell me to read up on your theology, fair enough.
In my theology, God lives every life (life being constrained being in my definition). This includes everything from quarks, bacteria, plants, animals, ET's and all the way to the cosmos. Does a quark have a mind? Of sorts, I guess. Demarcations are so troublesome, I don't get into that. The point is that a bacteria's "mind" also contributes to the communal Mind.
ParadoxZone wrote: Sat Sep 25, 2021 1:11 am As for reinforcement, sure, it seems there has been some of that, certainly from my perspective. That's not a bad thing though - aren't we all constantly looking for evidence along the way, with some reinforcement necessary at times? If the reinforcement was the only evidence, then yes that would be a problem.
What I'm talking about is non-local entanglement influences. There are some interpretations of quantum mechanics that posit quantum entanglement cosmically. I tend to agree. Now, let's say that someone at some point in time thinks that slavery is wrong. That idea may or may not get into mainstream thought but it does contribute to the communal Mind. How that idea is incorporated with individual minds within the communion may vary and be ambiguous. But as time goes on, if it gets reinforced by other minds the sentiment becomes clearer and clearer.
ParadoxZone wrote: Sat Sep 25, 2021 1:11 am I'm getting the sense from your above post that you see the engagement to date to be very positive. I say "to date", as I am also sensing that it has calmed down, seeing the conspiracy talk as a natural, almost inevitable ending of something. Shu will be happy with that perspective, I suspect.
Engagements are almost always a mixture of positive and negative. Which way they swing is a personal judgment call. So, I wasn't talking about this particular thread but discussion threads in general where the dialog (good or bad) isn't just local in its effects.
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Re: Cleric's Responses to Mystical Metaphysics (or How to Make a Logical Argument)

Post by ParadoxZone »

Steve,

Thank you, that gives me a better perspective on your approach.

The only thing I feel slightly motivated to quibble with is youvusing the word "presume" in relation to others motivations and goals. I consider there has been much evidence in what has been stated, repeated and re-worded, in conjunction with counter arguments and the style in which they've been expressed, to make informed enough inference about motivations and goals. Enough, at least, to put such inferences above mere presumptions.

Of course, the above is far from bullet-proof logic and reasonable people will disagree. I appreciate that your preference is not to get into that.
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Re: Cleric's Responses to Mystical Metaphysics (or How to Make a Logical Argument)

Post by AshvinP »

Steve Petermann wrote: Sat Sep 25, 2021 12:27 am
Soul_of_Shu wrote: Fri Sep 24, 2021 10:25 pm The real appeal is more likely that truly keen folks who are interested in the kind of esoteric topics found here, and actually have some well informed grasp of ontology, are few and far between, and we just crave intelligent conversation with like-minded people, however contentious it may get at times.
Here's the way I look at it. For those who think they may have something helpful to say for humanity and the world, then as "nobodies", it might be disconcerting that there doesn't seem to be much interest. As Eugene says, there is a vast ocean of content out there. With that being the case and if one is not famous, making a noticeable splash in that ocean is unreasonable. But perhaps making a noticeable splash isn't the only way to make a difference but it won't result in feeding one's ego.

Jung talks about the collective unconscious and synchronicity. Rupert Sheldrake talks about morphic resonance. He talks about this in how difficult-to-form crystals form themselves more easily once it is first accomplished. He also talks about how when rats on one side of the world solve a problem, the rats on the other side know how to solve it as well. In my theology, there is a Divine Life (God-as-living). With God-as-living, there is a Mind-as-living. The Mind-as-living is the communion of all minds from the smallest to the largest. There is an entanglement of minds (perhaps represented like in quantum physics). What this means is that even if there is no direct communication between minds, they can still affect each other. It may be subtle and ambiguous but with time and reinforcement, it can become significant.

Discussions like these or an individual's unnoticed ideas may just seem local, but they are not. They contribute to the communal Mind
and influence what is possible for the holistic future going forward.

There is one clear thread which runs through the history of Eastern nondual tradition, Western idealism, Cleric's posts, my posts, and of course what we refer to from Steiner et al. (we have also highlighted how this thread is woven into the fabric of everything from the Bhagavad Gita to the OT/NT and modern philosophy-science of Goethe, Coleridge, Hegel, Fichte, Schelling, Gebser, Jung, Sheldrake, Barfield, Bergson, and many others). We are not other than the Cosmos, Spirit, etc. - all is truly One. For many philosophies (not those mentioned above), this assertion has remained at the purely abstract level, and although they express real truths, they may as well be expressing physicalist truths. The physicalist can say, "all is matter, energy, field, etc. and therefore all is One". That is actually what the educated physicalists do say. What differentiates the idealist claim to One truth from the physicalist claim? In modern abstract philosophy, almost nothing. The abstract idealist can say, "I have solved the 'hard problem of consciousness' by substituting 'all is mind' for 'all is matter'". What else? The physicalist can actually go further and say, "all is matter and here's how the matter interacts with other matter to do this or that". The abstract idealist cannot even say that much, only take what the physicalist has already said and copy-and-paste it onto a world made of "mental stuff". And if anyone finds themselves being offended by what was just written, feeling it to be condescending or belitting or whatever, I would urge that person to ask themselves whether I am just randomly throwing out assertions here or whether they are, instead, held together by that same thread which I mentioned at the beginning and whether, if true, they have real deep significance for how we approach philosophy, science, and the world in general. I posted a quote from Schelling in the topic-specific section which I think is also relevant here:

Schelling wrote:According to these reflections, it just does not seem appropriate to throw the entire burden of this difficulty [re: immanent divinity] only on a single system [of idealist philosophy], especially since the supposedly higher one opposed to it affords so little satisfaction. The generalities of idealism also cannot be of help here. Nothing at all can be achieved with such abstract concepts of God as actus purissumus [purest actuality], the likes of which earlier philosophy put forward, or with such concepts as more recent philosophy has brought forth again and again out of a concern to remove God quite far indeed from all of nature. God is something more real than a merely moral world order and has entirely different and more vital motive forces in himself than the desolate subtlety of abstract idealists attributes to him. The abhorrence of everything real that finds the spiritual befouled through any contact with the latter must of course also blind one’s eye to the origin of evil. Idealism, if it does not have as its basis a living realism, becomes just as empty and abstract a system as that of Leibniz, Spinoza, or any other dogmatist. The entire new European philosophy since its beginning (with Descartes) has the common defect that nature is not available for it and that it lacks a living ground. Spinoza’s realism is thereby as abstract as the idealism of Leibniz. Idealism is the soul of philosophy; realism is the body; only both together can constitute a living whole.

And I also love this one from Bergson (for anyone curious, Schelling went through a major shift from his earlier living philosophy to his later philosophy which became much more abstract intellectual, which is what Bergson is referring to below):

Bergson wrote:These conclusions on the subject of duration were, as it seemed to me, decisive. Step by step they led me to raise intuition to the level of a philosophical method. “Intuition,” however, is a word whose use caused me some degree of hesitation. Of all the terms which designate a mode of knowing, it is still the most appropriate; and yet it leads to a certain confusion. Because a Schelling, a Schopenhauer and others have already called upon intuition, because they have more or less set up intuition in opposition to intelligence, one might think that I was using the same method. But of course, their intuition was an immediate search for the eternal! Whereas, on the contrary, for me it was a question, above all, of finding true duration. Numerous are the philosophers who have felt how powerless conceptual thought is to reach the core of the mind. Numerous, consequently, are those who have spoken of a supra-intellectual faculty of intuition.

But as they believed that the intelligence worked within time, they have concluded that to go beyond the intelligence consisted in getting outside of time. They did not see that intellectualized time is space, that the intelligence works upon the phantom of duration, not on duration itself, that the elimination of time is the habitual, normal, commonplace act of our understanding, that the relativity of our knowledge of the mind is a direct result of this fact, and that hence, to pass from intellection to vision, from the relative to the absolute, is not a question of getting outside of time (we are already there); on the contrary, one must get back into duration and recapture reality in the very mobility which is its essence. An intuition, which claims to project itself with one bound into the eternal, limits itself to the intellectual. For the concepts which the intelligence furnishes, the intuition simply substitutes one single concept which includes them all and which consequently is always the same, by whatever name it is called: Substance, Ego, Idea, Will.

Philosophy, thus understood, necessarily pantheistic, will have no difficulty in explaining everything deductively, since it will have been given beforehand, in a principle which is the concept of concepts, all the real and all the possible. But this explanation will be vague and hypothetical, this unity will be artificial, and this philosophy would apply equally well to a very different world from our own. How much more instructive would be a truly intuitive metaphysics, which would follow the undulations of the real! True, it would not embrace in a single sweep the totality of things; but for each thing it would give an explanation which would fit it exactly, and it alone. It would not begin by defining or describing the systematic unity of the world: who knows if the world is actually one?

Experience alone can say, and unity, if it exists, will appear at the end of the search as a result; it is impossible to posit it at the start as a principle. Furthermore, it will be a rich, full unity, the unity of a continuity, the unity of our reality, and not that abstract and empty unity, which has come from one supreme generalization, and which could just as well be that of any possible world whatsoever. It is true that philosophy then will demand a new effort for each new problem. No solution will be geometrically deduced from another. No important truth will be achieved by the prolongation of an already acquired truth. We shall have to give up crowding universal science potentially into one principle.

- Henri Bergson, The Creative Mind: An Introduction to Metaphysics (1946)
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Re: Cleric's Responses to Mystical Metaphysics (or How to Make a Logical Argument)

Post by Soul_of_Shu »

AshvinP wrote: Sat Sep 25, 2021 1:22 amIt's simple. Everyone agrees we are in a deep "meaning crisis" in Western civilization, including BK. So, naturally, metaphysical idea-lism, if one has any desire to get down into the philosophical roots of Western culture, is probably a good bet for finding some meaning-full answers. If they happen upon BK and then this forum, that is what most people are expecting to find, but they have no idea what form to expect it in. As Dana pointed out, many of the people will just tune out after a little awhile if what they wanted and expected to find is not what they actually find (aside: this actually happened to me the first time I read PoF... what I was expecting to read was not at all what Steiner was engaged in, so I just stopped reading, and it tooks Cleric's eminently logical and imaginative postings to prompt me towards another look). We know this happens in real life all the time and is mostly a reflection of our short attentive spans and our desire not to get "deep truth" without equally deep commitment and effort.

So the rest of who stick around for awhile are of two sorts. First, what I presume is the minority - Cleric, Scott, PZ, Dana, Anthony, Shajan, myself, and maybe a few others (sorry if I left you out, I am just making a broad point here). We feel forums such as these can be a great place for serious and deep dialogues about the "meaning crisis", i.e. where it comes from, how it manifests, where it is going, what we can do about it as individuals without our own spheres of action, etc. Then, there is what appears to be the majority - Eugene, Ben... (that's enough for now, again I am making a broad point). These people look upon the forum as they look upon a cow... it is a place to express endlessly speculative opinions, garner attention for one's speculative opinions, get some personal ego-boost from that, and nothing else. These people, despite frequently saying they want "freedom", actually abhor the idea that this forum is a free marketplace for ideas and people will naturally gravitate to those ideas which are actually expressed logically, imaginatively (in the case of Cleric), and seem to be highly relevant to the meaning crisis.

Such people, instead of ignoring the approach they claim to have no interest in, and writing their own essays, posts, and generally trying to spark up enthusiasm for their approach, jump in on the threads of the other approach whenever they seem to be picking up steam, because, after all, it is all about feeling that other people are reading what you are writing and has little to do with what is "true" or actually relevant to the meaning crisis. That is why you (Eugene) assume we must think like you - "if they see that people are not subscribing to their preaching, they will eventually leave to other places." You assume it must be all about our ego's need for attention like it is for your own. After all, what else could it be about in this flattened 2-dimensional speculative thought-world? You cannot even imagine another possibility, such as the one expressed by PZ in her comment (thanks PZ, as it was again heartening to read and also saves me some typing here). That is the possibility that what we desire, feel, think, and do actually matters in the overall Cosmic story of our lives, and that the living depth we rediscover in our own Thinking is more than enough to satisfy our soul for many lifetimes over, even if another single soul never reads what we write.
Well, to be fair, I feel that most who keep hanging in here through thick and thin do crave some meaningful dialogue, although clearly there's a disconnect as to how that should look. Yet we're all still prone to some habitual egoic drives, and still dealing with subconscious shadow issues, which plays into us-vs-them mode thinking, undermining our very attempts at truly integral/aperspectival stage interaction, falling short of walking the talk, so to speak. Surely this too can, indeed must change, but only insofar as each of our thinking is transfigured beyond just talking about it. Be the change.
Here out of instinct or grace we seek
soulmates in these galleries of hieroglyph and glass,
where mutual longings and sufferings of love
are laid bare in transfigured exhibition of our hearts,
we who crave deep secrets and mysteries,
as elusive as the avatars of our dreams.
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Re: Cleric's Responses to Mystical Metaphysics (or How to Make a Logical Argument)

Post by Ben Iscatus »

Then, there is what appears to be the majority - Eugene, Ben... (that's enough for now, again I am making a broad point). These people look upon the forum as they look upon a cow... it is a place to express endlessly speculative opinions, garner attention for one's speculative opinions, get some personal ego-boost from that, and nothing else. These people, despite frequently saying they want "freedom", actually abhor the idea that this forum is a free marketplace for ideas and people will naturally gravitate to those ideas which are actually expressed logically, imaginatively (in the case of Cleric), and seem to be highly relevant to the meaning crisis.

Such people, instead of ignoring the approach they claim to have no interest in, and writing their own essays, posts, and generally trying to spark up enthusiasm for their approach, jump in on the threads of the other approach whenever they seem to be picking up steam, because, after all, it is all about feeling that other people are reading what you are writing and has little to do with what is "true" or actually relevant to the meaning crisis. That is why you (Eugene) assume we must think like you - "if they see that people are not subscribing to their preaching, they will eventually leave to other places." You assume it must be all about our ego's need for attention like it is for your own. After all, what else could it be about in this flattened 2-dimensional speculative thought-world?
What an analysis! I'd give it zero percent, except for the last bit about flattened two-dimensional worldview - which your analysis exhibits. I've written essays. I post entirely as the spirit moves, and I believe in humour as a way of dealing with the world. I don't want any attention. I'm not in any majority on this forum and never have been. If an ego shows, it's a warped and inverted one. The fact is, Eugene's right. You are a preacher - in this day and age, you could hardly be more preachy. You seem to be incapable of self-analysis in this respect. But if you want to stay and preach, I don't object - you can't help what you are any more than I can help what I am. I'm actually glad that folks are getting value from your posts. The longer you stay, the more people who respond to you, the more you prove your worth.

I used to be into theosophy forty years ago, but eventually realised it was a mishmash of ideas, much of it Blavatsky's invention. It's not impossible you might eventually convince me that Steiner is not rigid, elitist and old fashioned. By all means, please keep trying! Henceforth, I'll try to minimise my ironic responses.
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